With 2018 having just begun, and because robots haven’t taken over the world just yet, it’s a safe time to start planning your New Year’s resolutions. There’s always the, “I promise to work out.” How about this year try, I promise to rock out! Check out our list of top 10 New Year’s resolutions for you, the guitar player. If you’re looking for even more guidance, check out our Learning Paths and choose your path to musical enlightenment!

(Hint: Play this video when reading the article! It turns the awesomeness up to 11!)

1. Play more often

This one’s easy. Just play more. Whatever works for you: If you play twice a week right now, resolve to play four times a week. If you play for 30 minutes a day, play for an hour. One way to make it easier to play often is to keep your guitar out of its case and on a stand. This way, when you’re ready to play, just grab the guitar and get your music on.

2. Learn a new music style

Learning a new style is a great way to reignite your guitar love. Doors open when you can play more genres and it’s just more fun to jam when you can mix it up with friends. Maybe you’re a rock guitarist. Imagine if you learned bluegrass. You’d not only have two styles down, but you could borrow from each genre to create your own original sound. That’s sounds like an awesome resolution to us!

3. Switch it up

If you’re an acoustic guitar player who’s never played an electric, or visa versa, you should resolve to switch it up. Being able to play both an acoustic and electric is just more fun and it’s much easier than you might think. Plus, if you’re like us, you want more guitars, and this is a great excuse to expand your guitar family.

4. Take guitar lessons

Guitar lessons are an excellent resolution idea and working with online instructors is a great way to up your skills. Try taking a lesson with TrueFire, where we hand-select top instructors to ensure you’re getting the best lessons possible. Here’s a tip: Drop hints around family and friends that you want a TrueFire Gift Certificate to use towards your New Year’s resolution and you’ll be coasting on the free class wave until you run out of gift cards!

5. See more music

Inspiration is great. You see a music performance and suddenly you’re inspired to write music. But inspiration, like everything else, goes away if you don’t keep feeding it. This is why an excellent resolution would be to see more live music. Because, what you’re really doing is staying inspired as a musician, and that’s really important. Want some immediate inspiration? Check this.

6. Get legit

Still using your kids practice amp? A rope as a guitar strap? A credit card as a pick? This year, resolve to get legit with your equipment. You’ll not only look better, you’ll want to play more. If music is your thing, it’s best to invest in quality gear. Plus, what an awesome excuse to buy fun stuff? The best way to do this is gradually. Maybe set aside a small bit of cash each month to put towards new, legit guitar gear.

7. Learn how to record your music

With programs like GarageBand and Audacity, it’s now easier than ever to record your own music. Don’t be daunted by all the buttons and dials, they’ll all make sense as you start working with the software. Plus you can find loads of tutorials online. And with advancing technology, it’s now cheaper than ever to invest in some recording equipment. If you’re completely new to home recording, check out our article on the 7 Basics of a Home Recording Setup.

8. Form a band

Forming a band might seem like a big undertaking. But think of it this way, a band can be as small as two people. Just find one friend who plays another instrument and BOOM, you have a band! Think Simon and Garfunkel, Tenacious D, or the White Stripes…they’re all just two people! If you can manage a larger band, work out a rehearsal space, a weekly time, who’s bringing beer and pizza, and you’re good to rock. If you need help finding a time that works for everyone, use this app.

9. Ride the SoundCloud

Getting active in an online music community is one great way to discover new music as well as show off your original stuff. Using a service like SoundCloud, you can easily put up your original music on the inter-webs and follow other music! One really cool thing about SoundCloud is how users can comment throughout a song, right in the wave file. You might see several comments at the bridge being like, “Here comes my favorite part!” or “Why did that guy rhyme dingo with mingle?”

10. Learn to play this

This year, if you want to blow all the other resolutions out of the water, how about you resolve to learn Van Halen’s Eruption Solo.

Here’s an 8th grader doing it. This should inspire you:

Well there you have it. Pick one of these resolutions and your 2018 is going to rock. If picking just one resolution seems too easy, grab two! And if you nail the Van Halen solo, send us a video!

Any other New Years Resolutions you can think of? Let us know in the comments!

by John Lombard